Things are starting to look up in 2012.
The major market indexes inched higher during the first week of trading. Unemployment levels have dropped to levels last seen in 2009. We're also in an election year.
There's an argument to be made for the market having a positive 2012, regardless of which way the elections in November play out.
Think about it. The economy will be a major theme in this election. If President Barack Obama wins, it will be because the economy has continued to make progress. Wall Street wins. If he loses, the market will be cheering for the change that's coming. Wall Street wins.
There are still some rough patches out there. I recently went over some of the companies that are targeted to post lower quarterly profits when they report this week.
Thankfully, they're the exceptions and not the rule. Let's go over some publicly traded companies that are expected to stand tall this week by posting year-over-year improvement on the bottom line.
Latest Quarter EPS (estimated)
Year-Ago Quarter EPS
99 Cents Only Stores
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with OCZ.
The maker of solid-state drives and other premium computer components is on a roll these days. It's not just the small profit that the pros are expecting, overcoming an even smaller deficit a year earlier. OCZ is projected to post an 87% surge in revenue.
Solid-state drives may seem like a commodity, but OCZ keeps making all of the right moves. Just last week it teamed up with Marvell to introduce Z-Drive R5, the industry's fastest and most versatile PCI Express storage system.
Shareholders don't need to think outside of the Voxx. The company behind Audiovox and other brands of consumer electronics is pegged to nearly double its profitability when it posts its quarterly results after today's market close.
SYNNEX is also clawing its way toward stronger bottom-line results. The IT supply chain specialist is eyeing a profit of $1.14 a share, just ahead of the $1.04 a share it posted a year earlier. Shares of SYNNEX soared after the company posted better-than-expected results in its previous quarter.
SYNNEX investors should be used to landing well ahead of the prognosticators. The company has beaten analyst profit targets for 16 quarters in a row. Given the trend, it would be a shock if SYNNEX actually only earned $1.14 a share tomorrow.
The buck doesn't stop at 99 Cents Only Stores, though it's more than enough for a sale. The retailer that's a penny shy of being called a dollar store has been in a good groove these days. Last week the stock hit new highs that were last seen in 2004.
Finally, we have Richardson Electronics. The provider of power grid and microwave tubes and related consumables -- as well as customized display solutions -- is starting to make some real money. Wall Street figures that Richardson earned $0.09 a share, well above the $0.01 a share it posted in net income a year earlier.
Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these seven stocks have a right to be excited. They are all improving their financial situations. They are worthy of the gains that the market rally has bestowed upon them over the past year.
I wouldn't be uncomfortable owning any of these companies. They're doing the right thing, regardless of Mr. Market's mood swings.
The expectations may be high, but these seven stocks wouldn't have it any other way.